THE "arrestoguinaldo" prank of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and Philippine Air Force in line with this Christmas season did not get the reaction they expected from the public.
The prank, played by police and Air Force personnel on unsuspecting individuals who were supposedly "arrested" but in the end were given Christmas gifts, got criticized on Facebook for being a "bad joke" especially in this time when some police sectors have been accused of human rights violations. The SunStar Cebu post on Facebook on the prank Tuesday, December 15, 2020, received 1,200 shares, 432 comments and 3,500 interactions, many of them expressing "anger," in a span of 19 hours.
One post showed members of the CCPO and the Air Force playing the prank on two employees of a fast-food chain in General Maxilom Avenue on Tuesday. The two employees were told that they were being "arrested" and were issued a "warrant of arrest" by the police. They were then brought to the police car only to find out that it was a prank and were instead given Christmas gifts.
However, despite the good intentions of the police officers, the netizens were not happy with the joke.
One netizen commented on SunStar Cebu's Facebook post that it was not a good prank, especially to those people who have a heart condition.
"This is not a good prank, sir police for those people who suffer from heart failure," said Limuel Pansoy Pandac.
Another netizen also commented that it was not a good technique, and instead, the police should have just given them the gift.
"Not a good surprise technique! If you want to give, just give. Make sure that no negative emotions will be felt such as fear before receiving the gift," said MsDhie JB.
Some netizens were concerned, especially with the continued "tokhang" operations of the police in line with the campaign against illegal drugs.
"Ngano nag issue sila og fake warrant of arrest, omg, sorry I know the intentions are good, but how they did it is wrong. I wonder what happened to those people who are killed during tokhang days, nanlaban, was it a prank too?" one post said.
Similar pranks were also conducted by the police on motorists who thought they were being apprehended for traffic violations but instead were given Christmas gifts.
The Land Transportation Office also conducted a Christmas prank on motorists Sunday morning, December 13. The motorists received gifts instead of a temporary operator's permit (TOP).
The Christmas prank is conducted by the police every Christmas season. (RSR)